Mistakes costly in loss to CdM

An early-season showdown Tuesday against rival Corona del Mar marked the start of the 2011 campaign for Laguna Beach. In a close match between two highly-regarded teams, it was the visiting Sea Kings who emerged with a 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 25-14 victory.

Corona del Mar entered the contest ranked second and Laguna was third in CIF Division 1-A.

"We watched game film and I thought we played pretty good," Laguna Coach Lance Stewart said. "For our first home game, and first time some of the girls were playing in certain spots, I thought we did well against a very good CdM team.

The teams each had one win under their belts and in game No. 3, Laguna held a 21-19 lead but then gave up six consecutive points and lost, 25-21.

"Three of those points came on mental errors and three on balls that we really needed to control and balls that we weren't controlling. I thought that we were a little cautious when it came to serving and we're not going to win if we don't serve better.

"I thought Julia Goggin did a good job in the middle and freshman Alyse Wallace-Ford played well. I thought all the girls did a good job."

Wallace-Ford led the Breakers with 24 kills and Marina Paul had 12 kills and 13 digs. Allison Palmer had 36 assists and a team-high 17 digs and Rachele Killian had 14 digs.

The Breakers travel to San Diego County on Wednesday to take on Torrey Pines in a 5:30 p.m. match.


Boys' Water Polo

The Laguna Beach boys' water polo team started the 2011 season at No. 1 and on Sept. 9, picked up victory No. 1.

The Breakers began defense of their CIF Southern Section Division 3 title at the Laguna pool with a 13-10 victory over Villa Park. The Spartans are ranked third in Division 2. Laguna stormed to a 5-1 first-quarter lead and was up, 7-4, at the half. The Spartans outscored the Breakers, 2-0, in the third quarter to pull to within 7-6.

"I thought that overall, the Villa Park game was a great starting point for us," Laguna Coach Ethan Damato said. "We had some great moments and some not-so-great moments, but in the end we found a way to pull ahead late and put the game away.

"The game gave a great idea of what we need to do to improve and I think we will learn a lot from the good and the bad in that game. Villa Park is a very good team each year and that is our first victory over them since I have been head coach at Laguna, so it definitely felt good."

Nolan McConnell scored a game-high nine goals, to go along with two assists and five steals. Riley Thomas scored twice and Camron Hauer and Tommy Renner each scored once. Erik Henrikson posted 19 saves.

Laguna is up north Friday and Saturday for the inaugural Santa Barbara Invitational. The 16-team tournament, hosted by Santa Barbara High, will be played at both the Santa Barbara and Dos Pueblos High pools. The Breakers are in Pool C, along with Agoura, Vista and Sacred Heart. They open with a 3 p.m. game Friday against Vista.

"We are very honored to be invited and to be a part of this great tournament in its first year," Damato said. "We are going to get four very competitive games where we hope to improve in each one and come back a closer and better water polo team."

Next week, Laguna hosts Mira Costa, ranked seventh in Division 3, at 4 p.m. Tuesday and starts play Thursday at the South Coast-Newport Harbor Tournament.



The Laguna Beach boys' and girls' teams are in Hawaii this weekend for the Iolani Invitational. Both squads opened their season Saturday by running the Mt. SAC Fastback Shootout in Walnut.

At the Shootout, Marisa Merchant led the Laguna charge with a time of 13 minutes 0.3 seconds. Kay Baskevitch followed Merchant at 13:17 and the next three Breakers were Eliza Romero (13:27), Livie Clark (13:28) and Carlee Ressler (13:34).

Laguna's freshman girls took first place and the sophomore girls placed second.

"It was a great start to what appears to be a very successful season," Laguna girls' Coach Steve Lalim said. "From top to bottom, I feel it was the best start to a season that I've ever coached. The girls ran aggressive, they ran smart and were competitive.

"I really liked what I saw on Saturday. If we can continue to improve, and stay focused, this will be a really fun season."

For the Laguna boys' team, Jeff White finished in second place with a time of 10:10 and Mitch Kimball ran a 10:52. Boys' Coach Scott Wittkop called his team's performance from Saturday a "solid start to the season."


Girls' Golf

Laguna started its season Sept. 9 against San Clemente at Talega Golf Course (par 35) and fell to the Tritons, 205-258. Scores for the Breakers were: senior Taylor Weiss (42); sophomore Jackie McMahon (55); senior Laura Kawashiri (54); senior Vivian Mendoza (56); senior Isabelle Dwight (54); sophomore Nicoline Morck (53). San Clemente's Dani Weatherholt shot 38 to take medalist honors.

"Although we lost against a good San Clemente team, it was the first time any of our girls had played at Talega and overall they managed themselves around the course quite well," Laguna assistant coach Sean Quigley said. "We have a lot of players who show potential and if they keep improving and working hard in practice, this team has a good chance to post much lower scores."

Quigley said that Weiss, the team's captain, had an average score of 49 last year as a junior.

"Shooting seven strokes below her average from last year shows that she has really improved during the offseason," Quigley said. "Taylor has a good short game, so if she can remain consistent from tee to green, I anticipate she will break 40 for the first time at some point this year. She certainly will be a contender from our league to make the individual CIF playoffs this year."

The Breakers play two league matches next week, starting with a Monday match against Costa Mesa at Mesa Linda Golf Course in Costa Mesa. They'll host Estancia on Tuesday at Aliso Viejo Country Club. Both matches are at 2:30 p.m.


Girls' Tennis

Laguna won one of its first three matches to begin season.

During the opening week of school, the Breakers survived the heat and visiting El Toro to score an 11-7 victory Sept. 7. In doubles play, Laguna won six of nine sets. The top team of Brooke Michaels and Bailey Jaeger, No. 2 team of Chloe Mansour and Kate McMahon, and No. 3 team of Sarah Nederlander and Katelyn Bo, won two sets each.

In singles action, co-captains Lauren Michaels and Claire Jaeger also won two sets. Kira Hamilton picked up a point at No. 3 singles.

The following day, Laguna fell, 16-2, to Newport Harbor on Sept. 8. Lauren Michaels won one set at No. 1 singles and Nederlander and Bo won a set at No. 3 doubles.

On Tuesday, Laguna dropped a 13-5 nonleague match at Corona del Mar. Lauren Michaels controlled her three sets and won by 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 scores at No. 1 singles. In doubles play, No. 2 Claire Jaeger and Bailey Jaeger and No. 3 Brooke Michaels and Hamilton each won a set.

The Breakers take on Sage Hill at 3 p.m. Friday at The Tennis Club at Newport Beach. Next week, they'll host Edison on Tuesday and University on Thursday in a pair of 3 p.m. nonleague matches.


Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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